Even if you have health insurance, can you afford to go to the doctor? We started thinking about this question when we saw this familiar story in a story about high-deductible health insurance:
At his saw-sharpening business in Rice, Voigt can relate. His wife’s job once provided health insurance for the family. When she died a decade ago, Voigt faced unaffordable premiums for COBRA, the supposed safety net health insurance for those who lose employer coverage.
“About $395 a month is all I can afford [for premiums],” Voigt said.
Ten years ago, that bought him health coverage with a $5,000 deductible. The policy came, as most do, with a tax-free health savings account that allows policyholders to save money to pay for deductibles in the event of an illness or accident.
“Once I had saved $5,000, I was covered,” Voigt said.
But as premiums climbed for the $5,000 deductible policy, Voigt could no longer afford them and had to settle for a policy with a $10,000 deductible.
Meanwhile, he rarely has the cash for the out-of-pocket expense for routine care. “I’ve barely been to a doctor since my wife died,” he said.
Do you have high-deductible health insurance? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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